Here’s the harsh reality: people don’t care about your idea. They care about the outcome it helps them achieve.
“There’s an app for that.”
The default has become for us entrepreneurs to digitize our products. To transform any mechanical product to an app. That without sensors and actuators, we’re not really creating the future.
This is non-sense.
We decide to deliver our ideas through apps and websites. It’s our deliberate decision to do so. But what if I told you that people didn’t care? What if I told you that all people wanted was to achieve an outcome, and nothing more?
The Concierge MVP
One of the ways I challenge digital ideas is to imagine what a concierge version of that app would be like. A concierge MVP is a product idea turned into an experience. Customers would get the value that the eventual product promises to deliver, but the product team avoids building the product just yet. It’s at the point where they are testing and validating their idea that they run a concierge MVP. They run everything manually back end, while the customer gets to experience the value proposition on the front-end.
But it’s seen as a stepping stone.
Why? Because we’ve convinced ourselves that every value proposition’s eventual fate is to blossom into an app or a digital experience.
What if that “concierge MVP” is your product? At the end of the day, you were able to deliver the desired outcome to your customers, right?
“But it wouldn’t scale.”
Not everything is designed to scale. An idea can be successful without having to become a billion-dollar app. You can also “automate” the back end and the workflows that aid in providing the value proposition, but not necessarily the interface.
The TP roller
The TP roller is a classic example. It’s a cylindrical object made out of plastic, and coated with rubber. Like a tyre, it has ridges that help gym-goers release the knots in their muscles.
Nothing about it screams digital. It has zero moving parts. It doesn’t connect to an app. It doesn’t have any sensors. Oh, and it’s widely successful. Professional athletes use them. Gym-goers use them. They are everywhere, except on your phone’s screen. Because they don’t need to be there.